IFOM Dana Branzei

Dana Branzei

Molecular biologist Dana Branzei is one of IFOM Milan's youngest tenured group leaders. Dana's laboratory researches mechanisms of DNA repair and replication stress tolerance that operate in eukaryotic cells, and the regulatory pathways that coordinate their usage.

At a young age Dana, as well as members of the scientific community, discovered her talent for science. Participating in Romania's annual Chemistry Olympics throughout her high-school years, she was scouted. Receiving exclusive scholarships from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Dana learnt Japanese in one year and then did her bachelor's degree in Pharmaceutical Studies and PhD in molecular biology at Tohoku University. Continuing her career in Japan and affirming herself as a DNA repair and genome stability researcher, Dana then became a research fellow scientist at the prestigious Riken Institute.

For a brief sabbatical, Dana worked in Marco Foiani's Lab at IFOM. Taking advantage of the technologies available, Dana thrived and achieved amazing results. Soon after, Dana chose to return to IFOM. She quickly became a Principal Investigator and her lab DNA Repair was immediately supported by important funding bodies including Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC) grant, a starting grant from the European Research Council (ERC), and Telethon.

From 2016, she also receives an ERC Consolidator Grant.

Dana continues to live and breathe science around the clock. She asks new questions, enters new fields, uses different model systems, and experimental approaches. Learning and experimentation, nurturing young talent, promoting collaboration and open exchange of ideas are of value to Dana. Passion accompanied by essential 'hard-work', as she puts it, Dana today is author of over 50 papers published in prestigious international scientific journals.

IFOM Review

Seeing is believing: catching template-switching in the act
Commentary on Dana Branzei's paper published on Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, by Michael Lichten (2015)
complete review


Press releases


In the press

Quelli che decidono di restare in Italia
Il Corriere della Sera

2016.02.17 | G.Caprara, A. De Gregorio, V. Santarpia

Spreading the word to talent in Bulgaria
Ideas - European Research Council
Unravelling the secrets of DNA repair


Cellular Task Force To Safeguard Genome Stability


La poetessa del SUMO figlia del mondo